How to put in low-voltage landscape lighting

 low-voltage landscape lights

If you want to reap the benefits of vibrant, backyard illumination, you’ll need a variety of versatile, weatherproof, low-voltage landscape lights to brighten up your property’s pathways, flower beds, trees, fences, driveways, stone walls, doorways and deck. While you could hire a professional to design your outdoor lighting scheme and install all of your illuminant fixtures, DIY installation is your middle name! This budget-friendly project can make a big impact on your outdoor space, providing a practical, aesthetic glow that can be enjoyed both day and night. So, if you’re a person who’s rather handy and you’re up for the challenge, we highly recommend installing a few low-voltage landscape lighting systems because they’re cheaper, easier to install, safer and require far less energy than higher voltage systems. The perfect backyard is just within reach, so read ahead for an installation how-to.  

Key components to keep in mind before starting your project

With a variety of low-voltage landscape lighting fixtures and accessories available in an assortment of colors, styles and sizes, it’s almost impossible to test out and review all of them prior to your purchase. However, nearly every lighting system, complex or not, is comprised of the following four basic parts.

  • Transformer: Every low-voltage landscape light system requires a state-of-the-art transformer to power its illumination, plugging into a protected electrical outlet that is supplied with current between 12 volts and 120 volts. Some transformers are even equipped with timers to allow the users to choose when the lights will go on and off. 
  • Low-voltage electrical cable: There is a cable that you will need for your lights that’s made to be buried underground, running from the transformer into each low-voltage landscape light. 
  • Pathway fixtures: These types of lights are designed to be installed along walkways and driveways. 
  • Accent fixtures: These types of lights are specialty fixtures that used to shine or up light your landscape features. 

How do you install low-voltage landscape lights?

While the list of steps can vary depending on where and how you want your lights to look, there are three major areas of installation that will be required for your DIY project. 

Laying the cable: It’s always best to paint a picture of what you want to do before starting the work. That’s why laying the light fixtures out before installing them is a good first step. Space each fixture about 8 to 10 feet apart and then unroll the spool of electrical cable to place down beside each fixture. Following, use a shovel to dig a small trench along the line where you want to place your fixtures. Next, set down the cable in the trench. 

Installing the transformer: Peel the copper wires from your cable about 4 inches on each side, then use some wire strippers to remove about ⅝ inch of insulation. Slide the wires through the strap on the back of the transformer and place one of each of your wires under the A screw and the B screw terminal. Following, tighten the screws to secure the wires and place the stake of the transformer into the ground next to your nearest electrical outlet. 

Connect the lights: Attach a plastic cover over the outlet to protect it from the elements and then plug in the transformers power cord into the outlet. Next, connect each fixture to the cable. Since the transformer is connected, the fixtures should just light up, however, if this doesn’t happen, try again by checking your wired connections. Once the lights are glowing you can place their stakes into the ground where you want them to sit. Lastly, fill the trench in will topsoil. 

What part of the low-voltage landscape lights installation did you find most interesting? Drop a comment below to share with our readers. 

How do you garden under trees?

 LED garden lighting

There are many elements that need to consider when you’re planning to landscape in your backyard oasis. Needless to say, one of the most important factors that need to be considered is the amount of shade that blankets your yard’s vegetation. While it might not feel like a principle concern, gardening when you don’t have sunlight readily available to your plants can be frustratingly difficult this includes gardening under trees. While the blissful shadows cast down from your trees can be an incredibly refreshing addition to your backyard in the summertime, it can also prove to be challenging to grow anything aside from weeds. So, instead of fighting the natural beauty of your shady saplings, it’s time that you learned to take advantage of these growing conditions.

Trim up the area

Before you’re able to fully enjoy the charm and allurement of your timber, you will first need to weed the surrounding area underneath the canopy area of your trees. After all, proper care will help keep your greenery happy and healthy. Although, you may be wondering how to identify this type of vegetation. Simply put, a weed is any plant that is not growing where it’s supposed to. Once you tackle this seasonal problem, your new, little garden will be ready to take on any improvements that you’re wanting to make to the landscape.

Utilize the shade

Just because you have some vast trees taking up space on your property, that doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize the canopy of shade that they provide to your advantage. Start by placing a simple ring of mulch that extends out as far as the branches of your tree. This will give your garden an aesthetically, manicured look and your trees will benefit from the soil as well — mulch actually helps to keep weed seeds from germinating in the soil under the trees and it’s also beneficial for the insects that live there. Next, select a couple of flowers or shrubs to plant under the tree’s canopy. Just be mindful to choose shade-tolerant greenery that will still be able to thrive with the lack of sunlight.

Add some aesthetics

You’ve cleaned up the area and even planted a stunning flowerbed, so, now it’s time to start decorating. There are quite a few ways that you’re able to make your garden more radiant through the use of some cute decor, such as a durable garden bench or some LED garden lighting. A garden bench is quite an inviting investment piece for your garden. Not only does it give you an added sense of enjoyment when you sit outside, but it also looks visually alluring when your guests sneak a glance. That being said, LED garden lighting also provides a similar graceful appeal. In fact, outdoor LED lights delicately sit within your flowerbeds, along pathways and radiate from various dazzling structures. They also provide a charming ray of illumination that is able to display all the ravishing and divine elements of your backyard oasis even after the sun has set.

Are there any other handy pointers that you know for gardening under trees? Leave a comment below to share with our readers.

 

Alex Wilks is the Social Media & Content Creator for Trek Marketing. Her work has been featured on Global News, Black Press Media, andthe Kwantlen Chronicle

What are your lightbulb choices?

energy efficient lighting

There are many reasons to rethink the lighting scheme of your home. Perhaps you’re looking for a budget-friendly energy solution in order to put some extra savings back into your wallet? Or maybe 2019 will finally be the year to start making the switch to a more energy efficient lighting solution? Regardless of why you’re into shaking things up, evidently, the right use of light bulbs in and around your home has the ability to provide an embellished, ambient appeal, can prove to be cost-effective and has the power to offer you an eco-friendly, energy solution. After all, who doesn’t want to do their part to take care of the environment? Now, let’s take a look into your light bulb options.

What are your lighting choices?

If you’re looking for some lighting options that exhibit all of the qualities you’re looking for in a lightbulb, halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are a few common choices that possess varied abilities to offer you savings and energy-efficiency while also exuberating a beautiful, aesthetic glow of illumination during their lifetime. They all possess their own unique design to withstand weather elements, such as rain or snow, as well as their ability to work diversely as an exposed fixture. But which bulb is the right choice for you?

Halogen Incandescents

These round, traditional-looking lightbulbs have remained the most common light source over the years — probably because they’re often the cheapest options.

The way halogens work is they possess a capsule inside that holds gas around the filament, which increases their performance and efficiency. They come available in a wide assortment of shapes and colors and can be used with dimmers if you’re looking to illuminate an area with a particular aesthetic look. These bulbs possess many advantages, but in terms of technology, halogen bulbs are a little behind with the times and there are many more energy efficient lighting solutions that overshadow the competence of their current abilities. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a cost-effective energy solution that you can depend on, halogen bulbs may be your best lighting option.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)

CFLs are longer, curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights that you may already have lighting up your kitchen or garage. The typically use less electricity than traditional incandescents and although are costlier upfront, they pay for themselves in the longevity of your energy savings. The average CFL bulb uses about one-fourth of the energy and lasts ten times longer than a more traditional incandescent bulb that puts out a similar amount of light. CFLs also come in a range of shapes and colorful tones that allow them to diffuse light into every featured direction. They are recyclable and an excellent eco-friendly solution for those who care about the environment and their everyday waste.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

LED bulbs are a state-of-the-art technology that possesses semiconductors that convert electricity to light. At one time they were only known as the indicators for traffic lights, but now LEDs (typically white) provide illumination in many applications of our everyday lives — including many of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly developing technologies. Commonly, LEDs use 25%-30% and last eight to 25 times longer than a traditional halogen bulb.

LEDs come in a variety of wattage, can be used as reflector bulbs in recessed fixtures, small track lights, desk lamps, kitchen undercabinet lighting and many elements of an outdoor lighting scheme. They are incredibly versatile, durable and perform well in cold environments. LED products as also common in pathway lights, step lights and porch lights. While they are little more expensive, they save you money in the long-run and emit a very low dose of energy use. As with any other electronic product, prices are expected to come down in future as the technology changes and more advanced products enter into the energy efficient lighting market. Needless to say, if you want the best of the best in terms of savings and efficiency, LEDs bulbs are the ultimate lighting investment.

Which form of energy efficient light do you plan to use to achieve your lighting goals? Tell us in the comments section below.

 

Alex Wilks is the Social Media & Content Creator for Trek Marketing. Her work has been featured on Global News, Black Press Media, andthe Kwantlen Chronicle